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Old 03-10-2018, 12:30 PM   #1
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Battery drain issue.

We have a 2016 2861DS that we keep in storage. We try and get out there every couple of weeks to make sure all is well and run the engine for a few minutes. Our house batteries are dead even with using the kill switch which causes problems with the levelers. With the kill switch on, our house batteries drain within a week. We have to take the BigFoot panel off every time this happens and reset it after the house batteries are charged. This is an inconvenience every time we take this motor home out of storage. I have no idea what's draining the house batteries when they're off.

Yesterday, we went to see the motor home and it wouldn't start. The engine battery is dead! I think the last time we started the engine was about a month ago.

Anyone else having battery issues when storing? Have you discovered what exactly is draining your batteries? We live in a mild climate, and it doesn't seem normal that an engine battery should die after a month of sitting. AAA will be out there today to try and start our RV. I sure hope there isn't a major problem.
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Old 03-10-2018, 12:36 PM   #2
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Apparently there are items ( CO/propane detector etc) that are wired around the disconnect switch. To check this out. Charge the battery and disconnect the the negative terminal connection on the battery. The C0 Detector will drain a batter over a few weeks. Continually taking the batteries down too far can eventually damage them.
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Old 03-10-2018, 12:43 PM   #3
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This is why I hate having the motor home in storage. What is the remedy to saving the batteries then when there are electrical items that are still wired in and draining these batteries? In other words, what is the proper way for storing and insuring that your batteries (house and engine) aren't going to drain?
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Old 03-10-2018, 01:02 PM   #4
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Many ways that may fix your issue.
1. Disconnet the negative battery terminal(s).
2. Install a shunt/removeable link.
3. Use a battery maintainer. (requires 120v access)
4. Use a solar charger. (will need some sun exposure for the panel)
5. Pull the main fuse.
What I do:
It is a good practice to exercise the genset monthly. So I do that and run a 120v battery charger to the chassis batt. I also run the V10 once a month but not the same time as the genset. While I’m at it, I cycle both the house and chassis a/c units. This is especially important with Ford compressors as it tends to keep the seal from leaking over time. I’m going solar soon so “what I do” will be changing.
FYI, I store the coach in my back yard and it never freezes here.
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Old 03-10-2018, 01:18 PM   #5
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Best way to maintain RV batteries where there is no 120 v power is to remove them for the winter and put them on a maintenance charger at home.

Starting engines and running for an hour will never fully charge a battery, even if you use the generator and onboard charger.

It can take up to 30 hours or so to completely charge a lead acid battery unless you crank up a "gas station charger" to the point your batteries boil.

It's not all that great to start an engine and not get it nice at warm as it would if you take it for a drive.

Yes, it's a hassle to remove batteries and haul home but if you don't have full time shore power it's that or take the unit out of storage for several days at a time to get the batteries fully charged (as well as water checked and terminals cleaned).

Think of the bright side, in some arctic areas vehicle owners take the batteries into their homes at night and back into the vehicle in the morning when ready to hit the road. If they didn't they'd never get the vehicle started.
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Old 03-10-2018, 02:14 PM   #6
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Thank you all so much for these suggestions. We definitely need to change the way weíve been doing things, and that starts today! We also need to camp more often!
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Old 03-10-2018, 04:51 PM   #7
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I learned the same lesson you are right now but at least is was with the generic original batteries that I expected not to last too long anyway. Additionally it did not help having our unit at the dealer for weeks on end for warranty repairs as I'm sure the only time the batteries got connected to shore power was when they where troubleshooting something electrical. I did manage to squeeze a second season out of them but that was only because I knew in advance that we would primarily be connected to power most of the time. Going forward I hope to make trips more off the beaten path so I needed a better solution.

The answer for me was to put 200 watts of solar power on the roof which also has the added benefit of keeping the chassis battery charged through the on board battery manager. Now that I have power to recharge the batteries every day, (except during the recent snowfalls) I've installed some additional technology (cellular wifi, security camera's etc) which allow me to remotely monitor conditions in the RV while sitting in storage.
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Old 03-10-2018, 05:05 PM   #8
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Newrver, my hubby would love more details on your roof solar as to manufacturer and where/how you had it installed. We were just thinking this is the way to go. The roof solar cane with our other RV we had for years, and we never had a battery problem. Iím also interested in your monitor system. I just feel so nervous about not being able to see my RV when itís stored. We always had our RV parked at the home we used to own in Utah. Now that we moved to a California HOA Neighborhood, we have to store.
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Old 03-10-2018, 05:24 PM   #9
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L & L,

I did all the work myself and it seems to be working quite well. However I will be making some additional modifications once the weather warms up as I ran out of time last year and just needed to get it operational. Also, I just purchased some new AGM batteries and will be installing those as well.

Here are a couple of links I posted you can reference. I don't have the complete detail on here but I certainly answer any questions you might have.

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...ns-124586.html

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...te-148690.html
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Old 03-11-2018, 02:11 AM   #10
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LinandLen, I found that my Forester has a curent draw with the battery kill off of .3 amps/hour per my Xantrex battery monitor. Adds up to over 7 amps per day. My 2 group 27 house batteries have about 200-210 amp hours and this draw can easily totally drain them on 30 days. Batteries shouldn't be drawn down past 50% otherwise they lose their capacity to recharge. I am lucky that I can park my MH in my driveway here in LA. I have installed 3 solar panels that keep it well charged.
Note that the BIM Battery Isolation Manager located in the step well allows bi-directional charging of both house and engine batteries. So once the house batteries drain down, it will also drain the engine battery. so much for the battery boost switch.
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Old 03-11-2018, 05:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Sagecoachdriver View Post
LinandLen, I found that my Forester has a curent draw with the battery kill off of .3 amps/hour per my Xantrex battery monitor. Adds up to over 7 amps per day. My 2 group 27 house batteries have about 200-210 amp hours and this draw can easily totally drain them on 30 days. Batteries shouldn't be drawn down past 50% otherwise they lose their capacity to recharge. I am lucky that I can park my MH in my driveway here in LA. I have installed 3 solar panels that keep it well charged.
Note that the BIM Battery Isolation Manager located in the step well allows bi-directional charging of both house and engine batteries. So once the house batteries drain down, it will also drain the engine battery. so much for the battery boost switch.
SCD
This condition as well as the OPs situation is/would be Completely Unacceptable for me! With a Properly wired/installed Battery/Batteries Disconnect System,the Batteries should NOT Run Down in that period of Time! House or Truck! If you have Everything turned OFF then you remove a Battery cable there should be "NO Spark" is a easy test! Youroo!!
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:23 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Sagecoachdriver View Post
...Note that the BIM Battery Isolation Manager located in the step well allows bi-directional charging of both house and engine batteries. So once the house batteries drain down, it will also drain the engine battery. so much for the battery boost switch.
SCD
If that is the case with your coach, it ain't a battery isolation manager since it is not isolating the batteries. The whole purpose of a BIM is to keep the coach from discharging the engine battery under any circumstances.
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:43 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Sagecoachdriver View Post
LinandLen, I found that my Forester has a curent draw with the battery kill off of .3 amps/hour per my Xantrex battery monitor. Adds up to over 7 amps per day. My 2 group 27 house batteries have about 200-210 amp hours and this draw can easily totally drain them on 30 days. Batteries shouldn't be drawn down past 50% otherwise they lose their capacity to recharge. I am lucky that I can park my MH in my driveway here in LA. I have installed 3 solar panels that keep it well charged.
Note that the BIM Battery Isolation Manager located in the step well allows bi-directional charging of both house and engine batteries. So once the house batteries drain down, it will also drain the engine battery. so much for the battery boost switch.
SCD
The BIM will allow bidirectional charging but it will not connect the batteries together when the engine/alternator is not running if the house battery is low.

The house system has its own parasitic draws such as slide & leveling controllers, CO detector, etc. some of these are not always wired after the house battery disconnect.

The chassis battery has it’s own set of parasitic draws sich as the engine and transmission computers (BCM), radio memory and other controls in todays modern vehicles.

Starting the engine without a long enough run time at above idle speed will not replace the energy used by starting the engine.

In my case for winter storage I have disconnected the house battery negative and the battery voltage has barely dropped from the voltage I had when first disconnected. I monitor the chassis battery and every other month I connect a trickle charger to a pigtail I installed to keep the battery topped off.

I did not want to disconnect the chasssis battery as then the BCM has to relearn the engine and transmission parmeters from scratch. Not a big deal but the first few hunderd miles it will not run like your used to.

OP in your case I belive you have 2 seperate things going on that have depeletd both battery sytems in the same way. Parasitic Draws on the house system. And separately, normal parasitic draws on the chassis system and additional depletion due to engine starting with insufficient run time to replace that energy.
Your house parasitic draws are not depleting your chassis battery unless you have a failure in the BIM. Which from what you have described is unlikely.
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:44 AM   #14
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If that is the case with your coach, it ain't a battery isolation manager since it is not isolating the batteries. The whole purpose of a BIM is to keep the coach from discharging the engine battery under any circumstances.
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